Even though we are wrapping up Phase 2, it was not without its challenges. The act of installing new utilities side-by-side, sometimes across or through existing live services, was painstaking and, at times, surgical. There were moments where water or sanitary service had to be shut down temporarily to allow for this important work to be completed for the long-term gain of the district. Several buildings were affected multiple times and we are grateful for the competent work of our contractor and the patience and cooperation of the general public.

Due to the many unforeseen conditions that we had to manage this past fall, Vacri Construction will be required to come back sometime between January and March 2014 to complete the installation of the new telecommunications system below grade. The telecommunications system will establish a pathway for internet, TV and phone service providers to have access to each building on the Commons. This will enable private property owners, businesses and residents to have the ability to competitively shop for the service that best fits their needs.

The City has made a commitment to keeping the Commons free of construction activity during the Holiday season, and as such has suspended the activities of its contractor until after the New Year. However, due to the last minute availability of resources from NYSEG, the City is going to allow them to install new gas main on Bank Alley starting Monday, November 25. This work is expected to continue into the first week in December. Most of the work will take place within the construction area on Bank Alley, although there are three services that need to be brought into adjacent buildings, which will require temporary closings of the pedestrian walkways between the building and the construction area. We acknowledge that this is contradictory to the prior commitment to prohibit all construction activity during the winter furlough, but in the interests of maintaining the project on schedule, the City’s project management team felt that short term impacts were outweighed by the long term gain on the schedule.

The construction fence will remain in place throughout the winter and spring, so that if there is an opportunity to take advantage of a mild winter or to otherwise continue the work required to prepare the site for Phase 3.